To Emphasize or Not to Emphasize…

…that is the question. The following excerpt from a book published in 1996 highlights certain qualities of a person in the pastoral office that apparently contribute to the effectiveness of the church’s mission.

“A pastor should possess an attractive personality. That sounds like mere common sense, but all too often problems begin here. He or she [!]must show concern for others, learn names, socialize, shake a lot of hands, smile a lot. I have known clergy who give members and visitors the impression that they might as well not exist. Muttering a reluctant greeting, failing to speak, turning away almost disdainfully to sustain a show of clerical dignity and reserve–that will not wash in Peoria. The same is true of strutting, preening, and all sorts of self-serving fussiness. Loftiness is not necessarily saintliness. As we have seen, Americans do not go to church to be patronized, ignored, and rejected. As for clergy who are just painfully shy, they should seek help to overcome their handicap” (Thomas C. Reeves, The Empty Church:Does Organized Religion Matter Anymore? (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), 198).

Is this just common sense? I have come into contact with pastors/professors who lacked a great personality, and yet they presented God’s Word in all its power and glory for the edification of all those around them. Sure, they could work on some things, but they are true servants of the Lord. I wouldn’t want to change that.

2 thoughts on “To Emphasize or Not to Emphasize…

  1. A pastor should be a good teacher. I don’t think it says anywhere in the Bible that only charismatics can preach the gospel. This is just this man’s opinion, he doesn’t even back it up with biblical evidence. While an addictive personality is an advantage, it can also be a burden and tempt the pastor to stand in the way of CHRIST.

  2. I’ve seen plenty of dynamic pastors (who everyone just LOVES) doing more harm than good…because everyone listens to their lies as if they were speaking Gospel truth.

    That said…Jam’s pointing us to the Pauline biblical mandates is something that seminaries could pay more attention to. I find it appalling how most of the children at the seminary I attend act. Similarly, the foibles pointed out by Reeves such as “elitism” and “arrogance” certainly go against the prescriptions of 1 Timothy and Titus.

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